Why should you visit New Zealand?

My upbringing in Colorado ensured a fierce love for snow and all the ways to slide down it, a desire to spend most my time outside, and a refusal to sit in an office working the traditional 9 to 5 spirit-crushing job. My educational pursuits got me half the way, but my decision to do my internship in New Zealand has surely sealed my fate as a professional dirtbag living in paradise. 

I'm Kaylee Pickett. I'm 23 years old and I studied Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism at Colorado State University, a program which emphasizes the ‘do what you love’ mentality by educating students on sustainability, resource management, tourism enterprise, and, of course, getting after it. I've been living in Kiwiland for 10 months now, and I want to talk to you about why you should visit New Zealand.

 

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Before NZ

 I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last few years, starting with a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain during my junior year of high school (16 years old), then on to Washington state, Utah, and back to Colorado to finish my undergrad.

Me? I set my sights on New Zealand and the universe carried me to the outdoor recreation mecca: Queenstown. I interviewed with several companies on both the North and South islands of New Zealand, and although they all offered something unique and interesting, none could compete with both the company I chose and the location.

So let's talk about why you should go to New Zealand.

For those of us who love snowboarding, rock climbing, and hiking, or pretty much anything to do with the outdoors, I think New Zealand is always in the back of our minds as the place.

Queenstown, in one word, is paradise. Nestled next to the largest fresh water body of water I’ve ever seen and tucked between some of the steepest peaks on the southern hemisphere, QT provides on all cylinders. The Remarkables and Coronet Peak skifields are within 30 mins drive and deliver awesome on- and off-piste terrain as well as a community of skiers unique to such a small town. City Centre, adorable, clean, and safe, is a collection of delicious restaurants, high-adrenaline tour operators, retail shops, and lots and lots of bars. The population in town is a collection of locals, those here long term, skiers here for the season, and tourists. You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone not stoked out of their mind to be here; the atmosphere in town is unlike any place I’ve ever been.

Life in NZ

My reason for heading to New Zealand? Well I am hoping to glean a living from a life in the outdoors. Spend my time in the place that makes me the happiest - outside! I knew to get a foot in the door to the adventure tourism industry I needed some solid skills and some recognised qualifications. Activities like abseiling off 100ft cliffs mean you really want to know your knot from your what not to knot, and many other rock-solid good skills (ha).

That lead me to Pure Exploration and their Adventure Guide Program (AGP). The AGP was everything I needed. 12 weeks of technical skill based training on hiking, rock climbing, outdoor survival skills, swift water rescue safety, Wilderness first aid, guiding training, all completed while exploring the unbelievably epic New Zealand back country on numerous multi-day adventures, road trips and explorations with my new AGP mates. We then completed our NZOIA guiding qualifications and had some solid real world industry work experience with local adventure tourism companies. Literally I got every tool I needed to get into the industry. Obviously you need to work hard, but like anything in life the graft was worth it and I now work and live in Queenstown, guiding groups from Climbing Queenstown (who I met through Pure Ex), and living the dream!

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I’ve lived and worked in Queenstown for 10 months now, and it just keeps getting better. The world opens up when you say yes – yes to a storm-chasing road trip, yes to jumping in the lake during winter, yes to a night out with the people in your hostel, yes to any opportunity that comes your way!

New Zealand truly has something for everyone. The North Island has beaches, surfing, and the largest city in the country. The South Island bodes tons of resort and backcountry skiing, insane places like Fiordland National Park, and a laid-back vibe only Kiwis can provide.

Anyone looking to do an internship/ semester/ general amazing trip abroad can rest assured that New Zealand will not only meet, but exceed, any and all expectations. Gain valuable work experience in an English-speaking country that’s home to endless outdoor opportunities, wildly interesting people from around the world, and the chance learn what it’s like to live and work abroad.

Come join the fun!

Kaylee

IF YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE NEW ZEALAND ADVENTURE GUIDE PROGRAM, PLEASE FIRE THROUGH YOUR DETAILS BELOW FOR A DETAILED ITINERARY!

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Tell me more...

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13th February 2019

Nor'west skies are red, Guide ropes are blue, Coffee brewed over campfire black Means a great day ahead its true... Happy V day team, hope its filled with things that put a smile on your dial! 🥰

11th February 2019

The next great crew of explorers hit the kiwi shores and begin their adventures. Welcome team! 🤴👸

10th February 2019

Sunday lake hangs to combat the steamy NZ summer

9th February 2019

Some of the cute locals you'll meet when on our Adventure Guide Program in Patagonia! Find out more about this program here.. https://bit.ly/2DlIb8i

7th February 2019

When you think of New Zealand, do you think of spectacular mile high mountains with cascading waterfalls, deep ancient rainforests filled with stunning native birdsong and wild deer? You're right, you know. We go here on our NZ Adventure Guide Program. It's pretty rad, to say the least.

7th February 2019

Yesterday was our national holiday in New Zealand, called Waitangi Day. Goes without saying that the AGP crew spent the day doing typical kiwi things, like doing bombs off bridges into the river and eating fish and chips. Chur bro.

6th February 2019

Rocking their way through the weekend in beautiful Wanaka, the AGP crew are getting into their first climbing module! @ Wanaka, New Zealand

4th February 2019

Navigation 101, which way is north, team?

31st January 2019

Lads on tour...

29th January 2019

If there was an emergency near you, would you actually be able to help? We get feedback from participants every program that they felt our Pre-hospital Emergency Care qualification (PHEC) was a super constructive and valuable part of their time with us - not only for those looking to feel prepared for outdoor careers, but for gaining confidence in First Aid to a strong level for everyday life. Ken, our current ambassador, takes us through the group's experience of PHEC here...https://bit.ly/2RiYnfA

28th January 2019

Essential hiking training begins, exploring our local back yard. What does your classroom look like?

28th January 2019

The staff and program alumni talk us through their reasons for making Pure Ex part of their journey.

25th January 2019

What are you up to this June? Come join the crew in New Zealand and experience the golden sand beaches and rugged mountains of the Nelson region! Find out more here..https://bit.ly/2FVYH1L

24th January 2019

Touchdown in New Zealand for the January intake of the Adventure Guide Program and so far, so amazing!

18th January 2019

Adventure Guide Program team bonding underway. So cool seeing people at the start of a 12 week journey, knowing so much awesomeness awaits them!

18th January 2019

We are very excited and proud to be annouced as one of the top 3 overall gap year providers for the 2018 @gooverseas Community Choice Awards! We work in an industry of amazing organisations that all work hard to provide young people with life changing experiences, so to be given a nod as one of the most exciting is really amazing for us. Thanks to you all! 🙏

18th January 2019

Dang, what an exceptionally attractive bunch of humans. Huge welcome to the new crew who have touched down in Queenstown for the summer edition of the Adventure Guide Program. Bring on the good times team!

13th January 2019

What are the 10 Best Gap Year destinations for 2019? Go Overseas give the low down on the new hotspots that need to be on your bucket list! https://www.gooverseas.com/blog/best-places-gap-year

12th January 2019

The pics don't lie, grins for days on the Pure Ex AGP!

10th January 2019

Want to know where in the world you could travel with Pure Exploration? Click here to see! https://bit.ly/2Faqhsm

7th January 2019

Yeaaaaah team 💪

6th January 2019

Whilst in Patagonia on our Adventure Guide Program, as well as hiking, climbing and sea kayaking, you'll also get the chance to experience rural Patagonian life, with a farm-stay at a working cattle ranch. South American Gauchos (the equivalent to US cowboys) are expert stock herders that move their cattle on horseback, and are animal experts and local legends. You’ll love this authentic mountain experience with locals! Find out more here https://bit.ly/2R9skDA

31st December 2018

Happy New Year!! What are you going to do this year that really excites you? It's time to push the boat out people!

28th December 2018

One of the highlights of the Adventure Guide Program is the week based in the legendary NZ adventure region, Mt Cook. Home of the highest mountain in the country, this area is synonomous with rock and ice climbing, hiking, mountaineering, ski touring and general outdoor bad-assness. Not for the faint-hearted, you need solid training and systems in place to explore this area, which is subject to strong winds, sub-zero temperatures, avalanches and rockfall. For those who have the right skills however, this place is adventure nirvana! Check out Ken's update on their time at Mt Cook here...https://bit.ly/2GBiR3d

24th December 2018

In New Zealand, Christmas and New Year's is all about Summer BBQ's, long afternoons by the lake or sea drinking cold beers and eating fresh seafood. It's roots reggae music, campfires, good friends and loads of laughs. Whatever Christmas looks like in your family, we hope its a good one ✨